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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 30 June 2017
Confession - I'm not a Hammer horror fan! I really got this for its quality Special Features - the audio commentary really makes this thoroughly enjoyable. First saw Shane Briant in "Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter" (another Hammer worth watching) and nice to see eye-candy Madeleine Smith given an "acting" role. By today's standard the Monster is unconvincing but watched in context (i.e.: when it was produced) its OK. Hardly the best Frankenstein movie but Cushing remains eminently watchable.
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on 16 June 2017
I love this hammer horror.
2 versions of this movie in different ratios
The theatrical version and restored version (the latter has been show on the horror channel)
1 blu ray
2 DVDs
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on 13 May 2017
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on 16 July 2007
Despite its misleading and overambitious title, the final Hammer Frankenstein film is a solid, thought-provoking coda to the series. Working together for the final time, Peter Cushing and Terence Fisher present us with a Baron Victor Frankenstein who, at this late stage, has finally gone completely insane. Hidden away, presumed dead, in a squalid lunatic asylum, Cushing's Victor continues his disastrous experiments through simple force of habit, his iron will and relentless drive now replaced with pathetic self-delusion. When a young doctor is imprisoned in the same asylum for copying his experiments, the Baron seizes a final opportunity to `create life'...
Hammer was approaching its dying days when this movie was produced in late 1972, and with the benefit of hindsight it is easy to see that everyone involved knew this would be the last film in the Frankenstein series. There is a sense of winding-down, of closure, to the whole enterprise, reflected not only in the story and central character, but in the tone of morbid self-reflection that pervades the movie. Hammer Films, like Victor Frankenstein, had allowed itself to `stand still' whilst everything around it moved on; the company's movies were deemed as `old hat' and `safe' by audiences and critics of the early 1970s, in contrast to the 1950s, when they were regarded as `controversial' and `dangerous'; just as Frankenstein, once hailed as the most dangerous and evil man alive, is here regarded as a man whose time has passed, a footnote in history. Despite the fact that it was stillborn at the box office when it was first released, this tellingly self-conscious movie was probably the final really decent flick the firm produced, and today enjoys a mostly favourable reputation with genre fans; as the last film of Fisher's career, it stands up as a worthy and melancholic last hurrah for Britain's greatest horror movie director.
DD Video's UK DVD release has got some stick from other reviewers here, but as far as I can tell, the edition I have is significantly more explicit than these comments would have us believe (the artery-biting scene at least appears in its entirety), and whilst it isn't the most polished presentation technically (framing on the menu screens appears a little off), sound and picture quality are perfectly acceptable. Also included are the original theatrical trailer and an episode of the old Oliver Reed-narrated clip show The World of Hammer which focuses on the Frankenstein series overall.
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on 19 May 2016
The last gasp of Hammer Horror. The film is still a treat for me I was afraid that Horror of Frankenstein was going to be the last in the series.
Glad that they made this one. Own them all and enjoy all of them with Cushing as the Baron. Terrence is back and this is and will be a fitting end to the series as well as Hammer Gothic.
If you are a fan as I am then getting into this film will be easy for you. If your new to the Hammer club start with Curse of Frankenstein and proceed from there.
Monster From Hell is a fitting tribute to Hammer's last gothic way back in 1974. Glad to own it and recommend it.
Great extras make it just more fun.
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on 30 January 2017
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell was the last Hammer film Terence Fisher directed plus the last Frankenstein film Hammer ever made, and what a brilliant release? you get loads of bonus features, plus the picture quality was very good. For me this has been one of the best Hammer Blu-ray's with Dracula being the best.
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on 16 October 2014
Locked up for dabbling with 'sorcery', a young doctor finds that he shares the asylum with his hero in science, Victor Frankenstein, who has faked his own death in order to continue with experiments and effectively control the weak-willed corrupt manager of the place. Together the two scientists use various pieces of dead prisoners to construct a monstrosity that eventually awakens to produce dire consequences. Taking FATMFH out of its difficult context in the history of horror it's not a bad film at all, with a beautifully grim setting (almost entirely in the asylum), an ugly, tragic creature at the heart of the tale, and some unprecedented brutality.

Released on Blu-ray in the UK as a dual edition pack, the three disc set contains two DVDs alongside the Blu. On the Blu (and spread across the other two discs due to the substantially lower storage capacity of DVD) the film is presented as you would have seen it theatrically (my favourite ratio, 1.66:1) and, as an optional extra, in its un-matted 35mm form at 1.37:1 (i.e. more information seen at the top and bottom of the screen), accurately moving at 24 frames per second in either case (sped up to 25 fps on the DVDs, naturally). Obviously if you're viewing on a 16x9 widescreen display then the 1.37:1 version will have thick black bars at the sides, whilst the 1.66:1 version will have very thin black bars at each side. Preference will depend on the viewer ultimately, and one can argue the virtues of each until the full moon sets, but it's fantastic that we're actually given the choice and the viewer can sample each before settling down to the enjoy the film. Detail on the 1080p Blu-ray transfers is set at an excellent standard, whilst the DVDs can't compete but still look reasonably good considering they're Standard Definition. On the audio side, the mono (uncompressed LPCM on the Blu-ray, compressed Dolby Digital on the DVDs) is clear and as decent as you can expect.

What else do you get? There's a commentary track with two of the main actors (Shane Bryant, who plays Frankenstein's protégé, and Madeline Smith) moderated by classic horror lover Marcus Hearn. Secondly you get a great documentary directed by Hearn about the making of the film, with plenty of interviews from surviving participants incorporating some enticing anecdotes about Cushing (including some images of his extensive notes on the script). This runs for 25 minutes. The next documentary focuses on the director himself, again a fine piece and this time running at 13 minutes. A 7 minute animated gallery features shots from the set, some lovely posters/advertising materials, promotional stills of the likes of Smith, make-up work-in-progress of the monster (David Prowse), etc. All of these extras are on both the Blu-ray and one or the other of the DVDs, the only extra remaining that is not on both is a PDF of a 30 page booklet, which is only on the second DVD and accessible via a PC of course. I would have preferred a printed version of this but I guess they saw this as a cost-cutting measure. There's a lot of information about the production of the film and reactions to it post-release, and overall it's a nicely presented companion. The booklet also goes into significant detail on how the film was restored for high definition presentation, and makes one appreciate the work involved.

The initial pressing of this Icon-released set back in May 2014 was flawed with some stalling issues on the Blu-ray. This was corrected quite quickly and the versions available now are fine to watch, resulting in this now being the definitive presentation of quite a reasonable and gruesome latter-day Hammer.

Paul (The Grim Cellar)
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on 6 December 2009
Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell [DVD] [1974]
1973 happily saw the return of Terence Fisher to the great tradition of Gothic colour horror movies which, by and large, he had created. He was reunited with the greatest Baron Frankenstein, Peter Cushing, and scriptwriter John Elder for Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell. Dave Prowse again played the monster, this time a hulking, half-ape, half-humanoid Creature, fashioned under Cushing's direction in the insane asylum where he was working, by Frankenstein's assistant Dr Simon Helder (Shane Briant). Frankenstein plans to mate his monster with a mute inmate of the asylum, "The Angel" (Madeleine Smith), but although "The Angel" tries to save him, the monster perishes, torn savagely to pieces by the inmates of the asylum. The film is full of classic horror scenes: Cushing's first entrance, silencing the howling madmen with a mere movement of his arm, the underground laboratory with its bubbling vials and intestinal glass tubes, the monster itself, a splendidly gruesome arrangement, and an incongruously disturbing scene with the monster holding an incredibly fragile-looking violin.
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on 27 September 2007
Terence Fisher's last film for Hammer sees him re-united with the excellent Peter Cushing and doing what he does best: Creating a dark, alien world by applying lush, watery colours and employing aqueous camera tracking shots and pealing, nagging music themes to tell a simple, gory fairy-tale.

Fisher's influence is omnipresent in today's cinema.
I saw 'Pan's Labyrinth' recently and afforded myself a grin at del Toro's gentle homage; his camera moving smoothly yet malevolently through the forest trees on the edge of the soldier's camp - just as Fisher's so often did. And am I alone in thinking that the asylum set here at 'FATMFH' (though making 'Cell Block H's look like 'Lord of the Rings' in terms of budget) bears more than a passing resemblance to the long-shot interiors of the good-ship Nostromo; so primary to the success of 'Alien'.

Fisher was a straight forward story-teller, the budget restrictions he worked under saw to that. No camera pyrotechnics or arty delusions; no modernist interlucence or ambitious Russellian flourishes for him.
No million dollar special effects, no prima-donna histrionics if he wasn't allowed more weeks to finish his latest masterpiece...
A team player. A grapnel. A proper old school pro.

Modern directors would pay a fortune for just a pinch of 'FATMFH's dank, enclosed atmosphere - - and many have tried to emulate it....Tim Burton being the most obvious example, with varying degrees of success (Try shaving 90% off your budget Tim, that should do it).

Despite the wistful reminiscences, 'FATMFH' is certainly not kid-friendly.
An ugly incest sub-plot involving the ambrosial Madeline Smith hints at foul creationist engineering, and the (fabulous, considering the budget) runny surgical sequences had my long-suffering girlfriend reaching for her trusty 'green cushion' (the Ess household's equivalent of the Dr Who 'sofa') in amusing revulsion.

There's a lot to amuse as well:
Cushing looks as though he's having an absolute blast as the icily dedicated but clearly bonkers Baron F.
The 'God' character: mock-solemn, but really funny in a scabby, mad-haired, drunken itinerant kind of way.
A brilliantly low budget courtroom scene, where a pompous-rector judge's lines have obviously just been written ten minutes before; and a scene towards the end where one of the warders shouts: "There's a monster at large!" at a mob of strung-out lunatics, makes me snicker like a scalpel incision every time.

Technically, it's not bad, either.
Music, editing and the aforementioned sets are all good (just don't look TOO closely!), and the only slight reservation I have is the 'monster' itself. Though facially hideous, it's body looks like it's made of dusty buckram or something, draped in a muddy kaftan shawl (sorry, I've just been watching Glastonbury), but it's a small niggle.

In short, a rousing and grimly entertaining epigraph to some very talented and influential folk that we won't see the like of again.
The ultimate star rating then. Not just for the movie, which I like a lot, but for all that these people endeavored, achieved, meant...and still do.

{I took Mr. Retrostar's advice and tracked down the much-more-complete German R2 dvd (hence the late review), as the razored 'DD' release is a mockery.
It's miles better.
Broadened colours, and the German language soundtrack is easily turned to English. It's troublesome reviewing a film (or anything!!) when big chunks of it are missing -- and no, those rotters at the BBFC bear no blame this time. Well worth the effort.}
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on 10 April 2016
Finally,what appears to be a definitive version of this film - enclosed within the package are different framed versions of the film coupled with the 'usual suspects' supplementary material.
The only let down is indeed the supplemental materials!,the accompanying 'making of' extra is a tad pedestrian featuring the same old set of dry self appointed 'Hammer' historians - perhaps time for something new,indeed a bit of objectivity!
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